MCAD Tech News #210

16 May, 2007 By: Jeffrey Rowe

What's in a Name? Part 2

RP vs. RM: Do processes define production terms, and when does prototyping become production?

In last week's "What's in a Name?" I discussed the industry's dilemma regarding what to call rapid prototyping and manufacturing (RP&M). Can we find a simple term for this technology that we can universally agree on and understand?

In that article, I overlooked another term that we should include in the mix: SFF (solid freeform fabrication). A technique for manufacturing solid objects, SFF is sometimes used as an umbrella term to describe RP (rapid prototyping), RM (rapid manufacturing), layered manufacturing and additive fabrication. Note that in every case, rapid is a relative term, and depends on the machine type and model size.

This week I’ll pose another daunting question: What’s the difference between RP and RM? I’ll bet if you asked 100 people, you would get 100 different answers. This becomes an issue of prototyping vs. production, although several factors are involved in attempting to answer the question. Some RP&M machine manufacturers, observing the increasing adoption of RM, are attempting to expand from traditional RP to RM by developing machines with greater throughput, as well as new materials that have physical characteristics that more closely resemble those of traditional/conventional manufacturing processes. Read more>>

Avatech Tricks (Tutorial): Inventor's Bolted Connection Generator Tool

By Noah Whitehead

The BCG (Bolted Connection Generator) tool in Inventor is very useful and powerful. It lets you select and position bolts and fasteners from the Content Center and constrain them into your assemblies making you more efficient. The BCG is located on the Assembly Panel and is accessible during the assembly phase of your design. Read more>>

Mark Your Calendar: MCAD Events

Vibro-Acoustic Users Conference (VAUC 2007)
June 12-13, 2007
Cologne, Germany
ESI Group's second Vibro-Acoustic Users Conference (VAUC 2007) provides a unique opportunity for technical exchange among vibro-acoustic practitioners, researchers and applications experts. During this two-day event, attendees will have the opportunity to hear papers presented by major industry professionals and learn about the latest in vibro-acoustic software and simulation methods. Read more

For Cadalyst's full calendar of events, click here.